Michael Parekh writes:
there is a real problem as the big portal companies go into the Web 2.0 world, and it’s a possibly intractable one.
Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft MSN/Live, AOL, (along with Amazon, eBay and Apple for a sub-set of the portal services) need to come to terms with the reality that most of their users WILL ALWAYS NEED TO have accounts at their competitors because they’ll NEED TO CONNECT WITH PEOPLE AT ALL of those services.
In a Web 2.0 world, where by definition these services are about connecting with people across these services, these services are still competing on the traditional model of winner takes all.
The underlying assumption by each player is that if one service can offer the latest and best X.0 version of each of the services in question that they’ll have that customer’s TOTAL online business for the indefinite feature.
The reality is that as a user, I’m forced to have accounts at ALL of the services because in an oligopolistic world of online services, most of the people I need to connect with could be using any of the services on any of the portals.